Story: A journalist covering the drug scene on a Los Angeles beach soon finds himself embroiled in a bigger mystery involving a bigamist and his beautiful wife.
Detective: Irwin M. Fletcher
Release Date: May 31, 1985
Writer: Andrew Bergman
Source: Fletch by Gregory McDonald
Detective as protagonist?
Jenny: Yep, right off the bat. Good start.
Lani: Yes, and he’s right into the trouble as soon as the movie fades in. Well done.
Murderer as antagonist?
Jenny: Yep, right off the bat. Plus Tim Matheson. Excellent start.
Lani: Yes, and he’s there from the start. You could argue that Karlin is also an antagonist, and you’d be right, but he’s also there at the start; although we don’t see him until later, his influence is right there, causing trouble on the beach when Gummy’s getting beat up. So no matter who you think the main antagonist is – it’s Matheson – both antagonists are active in the opening scene.
Conflict created by mystery/murder?
Jenny: Yes, by the request for murder.
Fair play with all the clues given?
Jenny: Yep, we see them as Fletch finds them.
Lani: Yes; we see everything as Fletch finds it. We don’t get his deduction; he says he figured it out when Gail said he was about the same size as her husband, and he doesn’t tell us that. He doesn’t have to. We get the clue, and we can make the deduction from that as well. I kind of liked that he had it figured, but we still had to do our own work.
Solved using deduction, not luck?
Jenny: Yes. Except for the glaring coincidence at the beginning which is allowable since it’s the first move in the plot, every is discovered using logical deduction.
Lani: Yes; Fletch (well, Smart Fletch) figures it all out on his own. Stupid Fletch sticks straws up his nose.
Story Analysis & Ratings:
Jenny says: 3 Pops (They had a good book and they put garbage in it.)
Mystery: 5, Craft: 2, Suspense: 2, Romance: N/A, Comedy: 3
Lani says: 4 Pops
Mystery: 5, Craft: 4, Suspense: 2, Romance: n/a, Comedy: 3
IMPORTANT NOTE: I recommended the Fletch books on the podcast, and then afterward sat down to read the first book for the first time in about twenty years. In this book, he sleeps with a fifteen-year-old, a detail I evidently missed the first time around. I no longer recommend the Fletch books. Try the Flynn books. Francis Xavier Flynn is a good guy.